Taking Stock

I wanted to share the list of items that we are growing on our small city lot because it still astounds me that there is room for all this bounty.  Once you start looking at your yard as growing space and remove the lawn all kinds of possibilities open up.  Maybe this list will inspire you as well.

Side orchard:

  • Liberty apple
  • Cox Pippin apple
  • Montmorency cherry
  • White Gold cherry
  • Italian Prune plum
  • Blues Jam plum
  • Bay
  • Quince
  • Columnar Golden Sentinel apple
  • Yuzu
  • Desert King fig
  • Violetta fig (potted)
  • Dalgo crabapple
  • Improved Meyer lemon (potted)
  • 15 Jersey Knight asparagus
  • 2 Hardy Annanasnaja arguta fuzzy kiwi
  • Table grapes (future plan for arbor over garage door)
  • 32 Tulameen raspberry canes

Front yard planted in ground:

  • Rubel blueberry highbush
  • Legacy blueberry highbush
  • Darrow blueberry highbush
  • 3 rhubarb plants
  • 3 Globe artichokes
  • Bronze fennel
  • garlic, chives, scallions, leeks and storing onions
  • 3 bags or barrels of potatoes
  • chammomile

In raised beds:

  • 30 tomatoes
  • 2 eggplant
  • 15 basil
  • Nantes carrots
  • beets
  • radiccio
  • Swiss chard
  • kale
  • brussel sprouts
  • broccoli
  • corn
  • mache
  • claytonia
  • French sorrel
  • purslane
  • green beans

Lower front terrace outside fence:

  • 8 lowbush blueberries, Tophat
  • 6 cranberry
  • 2 lingonberry

Just in front of the front fence so they can grow up it:

  • 3 zuchini
  • 1 Magic Lantern pumpkin for jack-o-laterns
  • 1 Sugar Pie pumpkin for pies
  • 1 muskmelon
  • 2 cucumber
  • 1 butternut squash
  • sunflower sentries – these are re-seeding from last year and I’ll re-plant as needed.

In my semi-shady backyard I have or will plant:

  • 2 evergreen huckleberry bushes
  • countless strawberry plants in the rockery
  • peas
  • celery if the seedlings make it.  They aren’t very happy right now
  • mustard
  • cardoons
  • lemon verbena
  • lemon balm
  • chocolate mint
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • oregano
  • marjoram
  • lavendar
  • tarragon
  • cilantro
  • parsely
  • thyme
  • red currant
  • black current
  • aronia
  • sweet woodruff (for flavoring soda)
  • 1 service berry tree for jam or dried fruit for baking
  • lovage - to be used as drinking straws for bloody marys when we have time to sit around…

It’s pretty astounding, isn’t it?  All in the same space that was previously un-usable or was rarely used front lawn.

We are trying to design the garden so that it fits well with the neighborhood and adds to resell value should we choose to sell the house.  With some planning and creativity you can do amazing things with your landscaping.  Growing groceries isn’t just for farmers anymore and can fit well into just about any landscape design.

A future post for next year when the fruit trees and berry bushes are bearing fruit will be on bees.  I wanted to get them this year since I was told the reason some of my zuchini fruits last year rotted and fell off was lack of pollination.  For now I’m happy to have gotten the garden beds in and focused on irrigation and chickens.   More to come on those topics hopefully next weekend.

One last note – all the berry bushes and trees I purchased in March as bareroot stock.  It’s a much less expensive way to purchase plants.  They are shipped to you during the dormant season for significant savings.  I ordered mine online from www.raintreenursery.com and www.onegreenworld.com.   Both are located in the Pacific NW and have disease resistant varieties that are acclimated to our conditions.  One Green World especially has amazing customer service – phoning before shipping each order to be sure everything is correct and let you know when things are coming.  They were great to work with and let me change my order just before shipping.  Raintree as well even went so far as to apply a discount code to my order that I had forgotten to use during the checkout process.  I recommend them both.

7 responses to “Taking Stock

  1. Yay for edible landscaping! And you’re the first person I’ve heard of (besides myself) growing cardoons!

  2. Another possibility for having your zucchini fruits rot and fall off is blossom end rot. Last year the same thing happened to my winter squash, and we had tons of bees around. Supposedly blossom end rot is caused by a deficiency of calcium (or watering problems) but I noticed last year that if I took the blossom off right after fruits started forming, the squash would then usually mature without rotting.

    Great post!

  3. sustainableeats

    Leah – how do you eat cardoons? I think I must have seen them mentioned in a cookbook and when I found them at the garden shop last year I bought 2. Now I can’t recall what cookbook it was!

    Rebecca – that is great info. I just started saving the egg shells for the kids to mash up and am adding them to the compost pile. I also bought Azomite this year which has trace minerals so hopefully that will help too. Plus last year they were growing in non-veggie friendly dirt (mostly mulch from who knows what) so hopefully this year when they are in compost it will help.

  4. I love cardoons as ornamental edibles. And the best way to eat them? …fried of course! Here’s a good recipe: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/golden-fried-cardoon

    As for apples, I’ve had limited results with my cox’s orange pippin. Don’t be afraid to replace it in a few years if it gets scab and apple cracking. I love love love Bramley’s Seedling as a great english baking and cooking apple –Melrose is a great keep and good dessert apple. Good luck!

  5. sustainableeats

    Nuts. I read about the scab after I ordered it. That does it – where did you get your Melrose? I’ve also got a Liberty for dessert so I was looking for a keeping apple that would cross pollinate with it. Thanks for keeping me in line – and for the cardoon recipe. I’ve printed it off. The stalks are getting bigger so I’m eyeing them daily…

  6. I was wondering where you live in Seattle. We have a lot of things in common but I don’t know anyone else my age interrested in these things. It would be nice to have a local friend to bounce ideas off of. Myself, my husband & our 6 & 8 yr old live in West Seattle. I just relanscaped – mostly flowering but am trying to add in as much edibles as possible. I also have raised beds and pots w/ varying results. I get our milk from a local farmer & found your website because I want to make my own buttermilk, sour cream, etc. My interrests are from both eating locally & saving money in this economy. Hope to hear from you.

  7. sustainableeats

    Hi Kari,

    I’m over about as East as you can be before the lake – just off Sandpoint Way and have 3 and 6 year old boys. I’d love to get together when you get from vacation! Maybe my yard will give you some ideas for fitting in more edibles. I landscaped the back 3 years ago before it dawned on me I could put in edibles and now I’m kicking myself. Now that the front is productive I am thinking of ways to get more food into the shady backyard as well so we can brainstorm together.

    Have a great trip and let’s get together when you get back!

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